Chan Chun Sing should be an English Professor

If former Labour Chief Lim Swee Say had aspired to become a mathematics professor, then current NTUC secretary general Chan Chun Sing can be THE English professor.


Here’s why he can teach english:

1. Bombastic words

In the blogpost, he used the words that are hardly seen in most writing.

Anachronism: (noun) something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time,especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time. (taken from

He used the word to describe unions seen around the world to be a thing of the past.


With unionisation rates declining progressively all around the world, Singapore’s unionisation rate seems to be defying gravity.

Internecine: (adjective) of or relating to conflict or struggle within a group. (taken from

While unions across the world are up in arms fighting over a shrinking pie with their governments or companies, Singapore enjoys a collaboration between its unions, government and companies for the benefit of workers.

This unique form of Tripartism has allowed the unionisation rate to grow, according to Chan.

2. Playing with words

If the word ‘Unusual’ is trending all over the Web in the last few days, it’s probably because of Chan.

He described the NTUC as “unusual”.

“When I first joined the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) a year ago, I never fully appreciated how “unusual” this organisation was. It was only when I first participated in the annual International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting in Geneva that I began to appreciate just how “unusual” we were.”

He ends the post by noting that there are 3 “U”s in the word unusual, and said the Labour Movement aims to be unusual in at least 3 ways:

  • Constantly reinventing itself to take care of ALL workers

U Associate Convention

He highlighted the three groups that the NTUC is targeting in its work: PMEs through the U Associates (Professional guilds which take care of the standards and development of the various trades); SME workers through the U SME initiative (working with SME bosses and HR managers to allow the Labour movement to provide services and value add to SME workers); rank-and-file workers through the various Unions.

(N.B. Coincidentally, the three groups start with “U” too.)

  • Constantly making sure workers remain competitive and enjoy a growing pie

Chan shared how he met with the management of a foreign MNC and shared with them how unions can value-add to industrial relations “by mobilising workers to embrace upgrading and lifelong learning”.

He asked if the unions are poised to provide new value-added services that new generation of workers need – professional development, networking opportunities and employment placement.

  • Continue to grow from strength to strength

He cautioned and reminded the Labour movement not to be complacent, but to imagine even more creative ways to reach out to ALL workers and “buck the worldwide trend of declining numbers and relevance of unions.

“If we can do these well, we will remain an institution that Singaporeans can be proud of and an institution that can value add to Singapore’s continued development.”
– Chan Chun Sing




Share your thoughts!

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.